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Reviews Written by
Anonyfinn "flyingfinn1"
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Cressi  Adult Dry Snorkel - Clear/Yellow
Cressi Adult Dry Snorkel - Clear/Yellow
Offered by DiveXshop
Price: £11.54

2.0 out of 5 stars Cressi's first dry-top effort -- a bit of a failed prototype, 31 Aug. 2015
This was Cressi's first attempt at a dry snorkel, and it shows. The reaction time of the stopper is very slow compared to e.g. the Sahara by Beaver, so it does let in more water than a dry-top should. The exhaust valve on the front tries to be different from the mainstream -- but laughably by facing front rather than to the side, it blasts whoever you are looking at. The corrugated, flexible part of the tube is much flappier than most designs, so it wobbles the whole snorkel quite a bit. You really notice when ascending from a free dive. So basically it fails in the key performance and comfort areas in a way the price tag doesn't justify. Actually, maybe this explains the recent price drop.

Cressi will admit this to you, because they resolved all these issues with the Cressi Alpha 'Super-Dry' model, which I suggest you buy over this one - a faster stopper, firmer flexible tubing, and a valve facing towards the wearer and with a blast-diffusing cover. The only problem is that the stopper tends to stick, as the lightweight float mechanism isn't always sufficient to pull the silicone disk back from the top of the tube. Again, the best dry snorkel I have found is the Sahara by Beaver, which has only one tiny minus in that, by a fraction, it isn't quite as streamlined as some others -- but not in a way that would bother most snokellers who value dryness.

So, I've explained the problems, and suggested two alternatives, because a problem is no help without a resolution!


Cressi  Adult Dry Snorkel - Clear/Pink
Cressi Adult Dry Snorkel - Clear/Pink
Offered by gute Angebote Alltag
Price: £11.20

1.0 out of 5 stars Cressi's first dry-top attempt -- an overpriced prototype, 31 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Cressi Adult Dry Snorkel (Sports)
This was Cressi's first attempt at a dry snorkel, and it shows. The reaction time of the stopper is very slow compared to e.g. the Sahara by Beaver, so it does let in more water than a dry-top should. The exhaust valve on the front tries to be different from the mainstream -- but laughably by facing front rather than to the side, it blasts whoever you are looking at. The corrugated, flexible part of the tube is much flappier than most designs, so it wobbles the whole snorkel quite a bit. You really notice when ascending from a free dive. So basically it fails in the key performance and comfort areas in a way the price tag doesn't justify.

Cressi will admit this to you, because they resolved all these issues with the Cressi Alpha 'Super-Dry' model, which I suggest you buy over this one - a faster stopper, firmer flexible tubing, and a valve facing towards the wearer and with a blast-diffusing cover. The only problem is that the stopper tends to stick, as the lightweight float mechanism isn't always sufficient to pull the silicone disk back from the top of the tube. Again, the best dry snorkel I have found is the Sahara by Beaver, which has only one tiny minus in that, by a fraction, it isn't quite as streamlined as some others -- but not in a way that would bother most snokellers who value dryness.


Collins Gem Italian Phrasebook and Dictionary (Collins Gem)
Collins Gem Italian Phrasebook and Dictionary (Collins Gem)
by Collins Dictionaries
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.60

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably fast start to getting along in Italy, 25 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found this book fairly useful because, in a small size, it contains clear, easy to reference sections for different scenarios -- such as a menu reader, buying in shops, transportation. There's also a brief Italian-English-Italian dictionary of handy holiday words -- that's why tampons are there, for example. So, the phrases and words were well selected, I thought, for the traveller and holiday maker, and pretty easy to find. You can almost walk into a context, whip it out and start having a go. Not a bad way to start learning a language in-situ!

One drawback which applies to any phrasebook, is that it can teach you how to ask a question, but there's a good chance you won't understand the answer! Phonetically it was basically ok, with easily understood breakdowns of how words are pronounced from the everyday English-language perspective, including stresses. Some pronunciations weren't as accurate as they could be: 'bene' for example is suggested pronounced as 'benay', as if the final e is like a French one with an acute accent. It's not -- both the first and last e sound the same (more like eh, but without breathing the h), and both are short -- if anything the first e sounds longer due to the stress on the first syllable.

So, some of the building blocks of sound offered were somewhat off the mark, but the whole point was accessibility to English speakers attempting Italian. It's not very refined in places, but this serves the purpose of providing a remarkably fast start for holidaymakers or indeed business travellers, and because of this may even offer encouragement to refine one's abilities and study the language in earnest at a later time.

It will also make you friends -- I forgot this book on the first few trips to the fish mongers and more or less had to wave at things. They were quite gratified and thankfully non-judgemental at my attempts when I waved the book, flick-flick (words), flick-flick (words)... fluent overnight!


Aqua Sphere Vista Clear Lens Goggle - Blue
Aqua Sphere Vista Clear Lens Goggle - Blue
Price: £17.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect all-round!, 24 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In my experience on a medium, adult male head, a very comfortable and easily adjustable fit, no leakage at all and a very wide angle of vision. There are grips on the top and bottom for safe removal in thumb and fingers. Great design.This really is a case of 'what's not to like?'.


Cressi Frog Plus Open Heel Scuba Dive Fins (Made in Italy), Black/Yellow, M/L-7.5/8.5
Cressi Frog Plus Open Heel Scuba Dive Fins (Made in Italy), Black/Yellow, M/L-7.5/8.5
Price: £47.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased with quality, performance and sizing, 21 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm shoe size 8 (42) and bought these in size M/L, which I combined with Cressi Ultraspan 5mm boots. The foot pocket is fairly generous, and these boots not so thick, so I had the fin straps almost as tight as they would go, a couple of clicks left. So size-wise, I think the fins are pretty harmonious across a range of boot types in the sizes the manufacturer specifies. So I'm very pleased at that since I didn't try them in a shop.

I've done about 7 hours scuba with these, and they're now less stiff and flexing nicely. The foot pocket is fairly soft, and with boots I never felt any discomfort. The straps are standard, you may want to pay for easy-grab type spares. I just loosen and tighten a couple of clicks and unfasten or fasten, off and on. The fastening clips seem fairly robust. Always hard to judge, but I felt the propulsion was pretty good.

Just for those who don't know, e.g. casual holiday snorkelers (there's nothing wrong with that), these fins are designed only for use with some form of boot (doesn't have to be heavy duty). Both sizing and comfort will be out of kilter if you attempt otherwise.


Cressi Ultraspan Dive Boots 5mm Premium Neoprene, Black - L-8/8.5
Cressi Ultraspan Dive Boots 5mm Premium Neoprene, Black - L-8/8.5
Price: £26.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, robust and functional, 10 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These boots worked well for me, testing over a dozen dives. I'm size 8, and at Large, size 8-8.5 they were a pretty good fit. Perhaps slightly slack and a little ballooned with water after a dive, but pretty good. They were always closed well to the ankle. There's no sign of wear or stress so far.

They are easy to put on, and the strap lock on the back of the heel worked 100% (the boot does get compacted/creased below the notch for the strap when wearing fins, but it all stays together). The rubber soul seems quite protective (as does the rubber over the neoprene on top), and they were very comfortable.

I combined these with the Cressi Frog Plus fins (in size M/L as recommended for my shoe size) and they worked well together, though because these aren't the thickest boots, I pulled the fin straps almost as tight as they would go.

I paired these with Cressi Frog Plus fins, and they worked well as a set. So, worked very well, just a tad slack and sloshy, but to be fair they wouldn't be comfortable and would be hard to get on and off if they weren't.


Samsung 2.5-Inch 250 GB 850 EVO Solid State Drive
Samsung 2.5-Inch 250 GB 850 EVO Solid State Drive
Offered by FRElectronics
Price: £72.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance! -- though first boot-up not always easy, 2 July 2015
This is the second Samsing SSD I've installed, the first being the Pro 850 version for my desktop. This Evo 850 went into an older laptop which is SATA 2, not SATA 3, yet it still makes an amazing difference. By the time you accelerate things by e.g. enabling fast mode, there is little to differentiate in real-world speed. The windows experience index gives 7.8 out of 7.9 for data transfer. So -- great and better than expected on a SATA 2 machine.

The laptop I fitted this drive to was high-end in its day (1st gen i7, nice screen you don't get below many hundreds of pounds, nice all round including keyboard, blue ray, etc -- it would take a minimum thousand to do again), so it was well worth doing financially. It's much faster than it ever was, so better than new.

Problems? Same old. The cloning software works -- there's a copy there, but just try starting it. It was a nightmare with the Pro version I installed in another machine before (never did find the problem, so did a complete factory re-set), and with this one the machine couldn't find the boot manager. The FAQs online say use the system recovery dics. Nothing! Fortunately the 'ASSIST' button on my laptop fixed it in a flash. I do wish more guidance could be given to fix pretty routine problems, or better software (they could offer their own diagnostic and repair tool). That's the one thing holding these SSDs back, because there's no guarantee that it's an out of the box solution for your average consumer.

So, an amazing performance upgrade quite cheaply, and a good clone done. But as always, there may be problems getting the drive started, and the reasons can vary so there may not be the exact answer you need when googling. If problems arise, you'll probably get there in the end. Don't forget to buy a USB to SATA cable -- I had a kit already (inc. power and older ATA etc. cables), very handy for this kind of work and for reading drives removed from old computers.

Especially if your drive is dead and needs replacing, it's a no-brainer to get an SSD, at least in the very affordable 256 GB range and provided your existing machine isn't too old to make a revival worth doing. As an upgrade, this is also an excellent way to boost your machine's performance and/or extend its life. The Evo 850 is a good, reputable choice at a very reasonable price for the performance.


Scuba Diving Snorkeling Dive Mask and Sahara Total Dry Snorkel Set, YL
Scuba Diving Snorkeling Dive Mask and Sahara Total Dry Snorkel Set, YL
Offered by Prime Scuba
Price: £27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for smaller heads, not most adults in my opinion, 22 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First off, the 'sahara' snorkel is the best I know, which is what attracted me to this set -- some are selling it separately for 20 notes, so it's theoretically a good deal here. It has different branding on the side, and the mechanism works as I have experienced in the past, but isn't as refined and well built as e.g. the Beaver version of sahara.

In fact the results aren't identical. This one is lighter, more basic and stripped down but still shuts out any water in similar fashion to the best version of this dry mechanism I know. But for some reason it was opening and closing like a machine gun in the waves on my adult head, making breathing a chore -- too short, too sensitive? I can't figure it out. The children didn't complain. What this snorkel lacks compared to some is the quick release clip from the mask, but it isn't at all essential. What it gained was a surprisingly effective emergency whistle opposite the mouth piece.

The mask also doesn't have the refinement of quick adjusters and releases on the strap as found on some higher models, but again these aren't essential. The lenses are smaller than many, but don't really restrict viewing. In fact the mask overall is a tad small, but I was buying this for an early, smallish teen girl so it's good -- I read other reviews which claimed the mask is a little small and I agree. I have tried it (adult male) and it does work for me, but the distance between the nose cavity and nose bridge is short, meaning the hard bridge sits too tightly on my nose for comfort -- I wouldn't really wear it myself. The silicone itself is very soft, for comfort and a good seal.

For the money, this set focuses on the essentials of a snorkel that's dry (surprising and unwelcome water choking being children's no.1 complaint, much worse than mask trickle) and a reasonably soft and comfortable mask (which also doesn't trickle). It performs the essentials very well, and you could spend much more and still see no improvements in these areas.

The one proviso is that I do not consider the mask large enough for any but petite adults and children, and had trouble with the snorkel too -- If I were buying for myself or another adult, this would be a one star review. But for youngsters it's a good price for the real deal and a happy experience.


Let Them Talk
Let Them Talk
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Frontman sadly brings 50% to the table, 13 May 2015
This review is from: Let Them Talk (Audio CD)
This is a fairly polished production and it certainly has its merits. Hugh can play, the Copper Bottom Band can certainly sing and play. The thing is, that Hugh's voice simply isn't up to the same high standard, and no one seems to have dared to tell him that. He sounds like he's 'acting to sing' because what comes out isn't from deep within, but caught in the top of his throat in all respects. It's passable, but not professional, and it sticks out a mile as the weak point in the line-up -- which is a rather odd thing to come from the front man.

It also became rather monotonous to hear the same scratchy vocals from one similar-sounding track to the next. They tried to break it up with tracks fronting female vocalists, but there just isn't enough variation for interest. There's potential for development here, but it is entirely dependent on Hugh getting some help to develop his voice; otherwise it is project over for me. As much as I would like to support him, I couldn't buy another like this.


Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon (PC DVD)
Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon (PC DVD)
Offered by filmrollen
Price: £7.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Lightly entertaining bloody dragons, 20 April 2015
Bearing in mind this is a budget mini spin-off of FarCry3, it's pretty good fun, and on occasion I laughed out loud. It takes a while getting started, but essentially it's the same idea of capturing garrisons and e.g. hostage rescue missions as with FarCry3, as you progress through a less complex mission (in fact even the mini missions were less complex). It is a spoof and there's no depth of social world or character either. There isn't meant to be. What's more, it's quite short -- it was possible to capture just four or so garrisons and get the mega weapons you need to blitz to the end in a matter of hours.

So why four stars? Well, it's cheap, and I had no expectations that it would be like FarCry3. And it's entertaining with some laughs along the way. You can play spot the references spoofed -- everything from the first Halo and going back further to 1980s gaming, to corny movie lines and nods to Star Wars, Blade Runner, Rocky, Austin Powers humour... well, how many do you see?

Some of the game is as childishly pitiful as the stuff I was doing aged 15, and that is one of the endearing features. Some won't like it of course, but they are probably the kind of people who say video games foment violence -- so listen out for the dialogue in defence of video games and learn the true meaning of the acronym eff u cee kay.

So, entertaining for the money and a bit too easy on normal mode perhaps (actually I feel that about most games, so maybe that's the endless hours over four decades counting for something), but as a bit of light fun with a few laughs, it's good. Just don't expect it to be like FarCry3 beyond a structural resemblance.


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